Sulwe: Netflix to adapt Lupita Nyong’o children’s book into animated musical film
Netflix has announced that they’re in the process of developing a new animated musical film adaptation of Sulwe, based on Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o’s best-selling children’s book of the same name. Nyong’o has also boarded the project as a producer.
“The story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart,” Nyong’o said in a statement (via Deadline). “Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books and magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognize their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”
Sulwe is the story of a girl named Sulwe with skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone she knows, but all she wants is to be beautiful and bright. One night, Sulwe is visited by a shooting star sent by the Night, and embarks on a magical journey where she learns the eye-opening story of the sisters Night and Day. It is a story about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.
Written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, the children’s book was published in 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Soon after its debut, it became a New York Times bestseller and was honored with a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literary Work.
The film adaptation currently has no director, cast and composer attached to it. Sulwe will be part of Netflix’s upcoming animated feature slate which includes Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio and Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Adventure.
(Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)